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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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South Lafourche Beachfront Development District not a taxable entity

South Lafourche Beachfront Development District not a taxable entity

One of the hottest and most controversial topics surrounding Louisiana lately has been the multibillion-dollar settlement with BP Exploration.

In 2010 while drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, BP exploration’s semi-submersible Deepwater Horizon experienced a blowout rupturing the casing that caused millions of gallons of oil to spill into the Gulf. Five years later, the company has reached a settlement with the Gulf states for damages ensued from the spill.

Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida received a total of $18 billion. Lafourche Parish was awarded close to $40 million, which was divided among the taxing entities within the parish.

Chairman of the South Lafourche Beachfront Development District, Kirk Cheramie asked Parish Administrator Archie Chaisson at a meeting Wednesday night why his district wasn’t given a cut of the $40 million.

The district’s purpose is to refurbish Fourchon Beach to make it usable for the public to enjoy; therefore, Cheramie feels there should be no question that the district should receive some money.

“You (the district) have taxing authority but not taxes on the books. This is why you didn’t receive money,” explained Chaisson.

Cheramie argued that there was substantial damage from the spill to the beach and money should be given to compensate. He went on to say that oil is still in the water in Fouchon.

“How do we get this situation resolved?” he asked.

Chaisson said that since the district is not a taxing district and there would be no way to measure a loss, he felt it was in the district’s best interest to request the parish give a portion of the money. He explained that the $8 million given is locked in an interest baring account and will not be touched until the new council was elected.

Cheramie said he plans to pursue this further for sanctity of Fourchon Beach and for the families he hopes one day can enjoy this beach.